Augmented Reality apps: The best AR apps for your phone
What are Augmented Reality apps?
Augmented Reality apps are the new feature that everybody is talking about. Available on iOS and Android, AR apps provide a whole new experience for consumers as well as businesses.
But what is Augmented Reality?
AR functions through a device’s camera and inserts a “digital plane” over reality. What it puts over reality depends on the AR app. If it’s Pokémon Go, then Pokémon will be placed around the screen, however, on IKEA Place, selected furniture will appear in the user’s living space.
An example of how AR works can be seen in the image below.
You can see on the image how the AR uses the camera on the device and places the digital images around the screen (in this case Pikachu).
For companies that already have their own apps, AR is great. It means they can provide their customers with a fun and snazzy addition to their app which will enhance interaction with their brand.
For app creators, AR presents a new way to engage with potential customers and offer unparalleled augmented reality experiences.
For customers, it offers a new way to engage with their top brands and also provides another source of entertainment.
With AR apps available for all ages, everyone can enjoy the fun that they offer.
Note: Augmented Reality apps are currently only available for iPhone, iPad and Android users.
Did you know? Aside from AR apps, there are also free calling apps. One app that everybody should try out is Vectone Xtra, which gives you extra numbers, cheap national and international calls and much more.
What are the best Augmented Reality (AR) apps for your phone?
There are many AR apps that you can download. However, which ones offer the most features, benefits and fun?
Below is a list, in no particular order, of ten AR apps that we think are worth checking out.
If there’s one AR app that you’ve already played, it’s probably Pokémon Go. If you miss your childhood, or don’t want to grow up, this AR app will give you a blast of nostalgia.
You’ve probably heard all the buzz; users going to ridiculous (and sometimes life threatening) lengths to catch rare Pokémon, Pokémon Gyms appearing in strange locations (sometimes even in a non-users’ home).
However, it is worth noting that these issues don’t undermine the app’s enjoyment (as strange as it sounds).
Once downloaded, you will be able to explore the world around you for rare and colourful Pokémon.
Gotta catch em all!
See how you can become a Pokémon Master, in the video below:
Do you love your GIFs? If so, this AR app is the perfect choice. The Giphy World AR app allows you to bring GIFs into your surroundings, in glorious 3D.
You’ll be able to share your amazing creations with friends, who also have the app, and record videos. Once shared, your friends will be able to interact with your weird and wacky creations.
Not only that, you can show off your masterpieces to the worldwide web. Don’t be surprised if you soon see your Instagram feed populated with the crazy GIF worlds of your friends.
See how you can create your own Giphy World, in the video below:
If you like your weather forecasts to be twisted and funny, Carrot Weather is the augmented reality app for you.
Whatever the weather, from blazing heat to blizzards, it will entertain you with its spooky and (very) flippant tone. You’ll want all major weather disasters to be happening, so you can see what it says.
See how weird and cranky it can be, in the video below:
If there’s an inner interior decorator in you, then you should get the IKEA Place AR app. This wonderful addition to AR allows you to visualise IKEA’s furniture in your home.
If you’re fed up with ordering products that end up distorting the decor in your living space or simply don’t fit, this app will allow you to test whether you have made the right choice.
Currently, there are 2,000 products available in the app — that’s enough for you to play around with. Using its true-to-scale 3D models, you’ll be able to design and fill your ideal living space the way you want.
If you like to show off your interior decorating skills, you can also share your ‘place’ on WhatsApp and Instagram. Who knows, maybe you can influence your friends on their future interior designs?
See how you can visualise your living space, in the video below:
If you want to go beyond IKEA Place, Housecraft could be the right AR app for you. This incredible furniture arrangement AR app is not restricted to IKEA-only furniture. It provides you with a whole catalogue of furniture and items.
Not only that, the items can be completely resized to fit the dimensions of your living space.
With Housecraft you can know exactly how big objects are and how they’ll fit. You can also carry your finished designs with you (on your device, obviously) and test them out anywhere.
If you’re ever feeling a little destructive, the ‘disaster’ feature on the app will let you destroy the AR room you’ve created. Helpful, right?
In short, this app will help you design and plan your new home, anywhere in the world.
See how you can design your ideal living space, in the video below:
You can now measure almost anything, by simply using your device’s camera. This AR app makes measuring really easy. Gone are the days of crawling all over the floor to get the right measurement.
You can check if something is perfectly level (like a recently built shelf) or measure angles and your room space.
But it’s not just a ruler tool. It also comes with other tools:
- Ruler — helps you measure straight lines on desks, walls, etc. Also includes Chain Mode, which helps you measure the area of a room by linking multiple rulers together.
- Face Mesh — lets you check the different attributes on your face (only available on the iPhone X).
- Trajectory — allows you to measure by “drawing” (moving your iPhone or iPad) in the real world.
- Marker Pin — helps you to measure the distance from your device’s camera to fixed points in your environment.
- Angles — you can enjoy maths lessons all over again (just kidding) by measuring the angles of any surfaces.
- Person Height — measure how tall you, your friends and family are. Are you the tallest?
- Cube — if you’re struggling to visualize how big something is, this tool can help.
- Level — check to see how level an object is.
Note: The ruler tool is free with the app. All other tools cost extra.
See how you can measure with ease, in the video below:
The popular iPhone game is getting an AR update, allowing you to play the game (literally) in your living room or any open space.
If you don’t know what it is, put simply, Euclidean Lands is an architectural puzzle game about changing perspectives. It combines turn-based movement and architectural beauty into an amazing medieval game.
Sounds perfect for the AR world, right?
The game itself features:
- 5 thrilling chapters and 40 challenging levels.
- Unbeatable gaming experience.
- Stunning cubic architecture.
- Multiple enemies.
- Fierce and exciting boss fights.
- iCloud synchronisation.
See how AR enhances the gaming experience, in the video below:
If you want a fun and childish brick-building game, then this AR app is right up your alley. Think of it as virtual Lego. There is no end of possible shapes and structures you can build.
The AR allows you to place what you have built, virtually, into the space around you. So, if you’ve spent the past hour creating some weird and wacky design, you can place it within your living room and analyse it on your phone’s screen.
All of your completed “masterpieces” can be synced across all your iOS devices, allowing you to share them with you best friends or even your family.
To create your incredible designs, you will have hundreds of Brix types at your disposal — and 42 shape instructions, if your creative juices run dry.
Even though this AR app is aimed at children, you can have plenty of fun playing around with all the shapes.
See how much fun you can have, in the video below:
You can now play the world’s ultimate intelligence game on a virtual board in your own living room. This AR app is great if you want to be a grandmaster or simply beat your friends and family.
Not only that, you can also test out different variations of the game.
Sadly, Star Trek fans will be disappointed that Spock’s version of the game is not included. Maybe in time the version will be beamed over.
Enjoy out-manoeuvring your opponents in virtual space.
See how you can become a grandmaster, in the video below:
Night Sky 5
This AR app is great if you’re a stargazer or simply enjoy the astronomical world. By downloading the AR app, and pointing it at the night sky, you can learn so much about the constellations, stars, galaxies and more.
If you’re looking for signs of alien life, this AR app cannot help you. But it does give you fascinating information on what’s up there.
For avid learners, this AR app is perfect for you.
See how you can enjoy the wonders of space, the video below:
The future of AR apps
Augmented Reality apps represent a fascinating development in the technological world. While most businesses are adding their own, such as IKEA, we can still see future trends emerging.
There is already competition to deliver the best measuring app (MeasureKit) and the best retail app (IKEA Place and Housecraft). Other competitive markets will soon arise.
Not only does the technology offer a new path for retailers, it offers a new path for the gaming industry. Euclidean Lands is a perfect example of how AR can be used in games.
In the future, this market will be worth billions [$61.39 billion, according to PR Newswire]
As the technology and the market expands, we will see these AR apps becoming a part of everyday life as every industry and company create AR apps that not only grow their business but also entertain and expand their consumer base.
One thing is for sure, AR apps will revolutionise how we spend our time and how we interact with our technology.